NASA Fails To Capture Vikram Lander On Lunar Surface, Says It May Be Outside The Area Photographed 


Oct 24, 2019, 01:56 PM | Updated 01:56 PM IST

ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Lander (@isro/Twitter)
ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Lander (@isro/Twitter)

US Space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has once again failed to trace Chandrayaan 2's Vikram lander on the lunar surface.

A NASA spacecraft clicked photos of the landing site of Vikram earlier this month, but could not capture the lander.

A NASA scientist said the spacecraft failed to trace Vikram because of two reasons -- one, Vikram is located outside the area the US agency photographed, second, because it is lying in a shadowed part of the moon.

On 22 July, the Rs 978-crore Chandrayaan-2 was launched into space by India's heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a text book style.

The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft comprised three segments -- the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), Vikram (1,471 kg, four payloads) and Pragyan (27 kg, two payloads).

After five earth-bound orbit raising activities, Chandrayaan-2 was inserted into the lunar orbit. On 2 September, Vikram separated from the orbiter. It made a historic landing attempt on 7 September.

According to NASA, Vikram attempted a landing on a small patch of lunar highland smooth plains between Simpelius N and Manzinus C craters.

This event was India's first attempt at a soft landing on the moon.

The US agency said Vikram's targeted landing site was located about 600 kilometres (370 miles) from the south pole in a relatively ancient terrain (70.8AoS latitude, 23.5AoE longitude).

According to NASA, Vikram had a hard landing and the precise location of the spacecraft in the lunar highlands has yet to be determined.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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